VSA Council Minute Meeting- 4 October 2013

Hi guys! Last one of these before break! Sorry we are starting late, but people are still streaming in. In the mean-time, Deb is story-telling…

7:04 // Call to Order…President
7:05 // Attendance…Operations

Introduction of at large members
Council Members not in attendance:
Proxy: Davison House (Khasi Jamieson), Jewett (Chris Brown), Josselyn (Adam Eichen)

7:09 // Consent Agenda…Operations

Squirm – Speakers ($3500/$4000)
Fem Alliance – Conference ($400/$517.50)
Ceramics – Discretionary ($1000/$2790)
MICA – Speakers, Conference ($0, $0/$1550, $500)
RunVassar – Community ($500/$1000)
Britomartis – Discretionary ($400/$400)
SEASA – Preliminary Org ($176.69/$186.69)
CBS – Collaboration ($0/$500)
Woodshed – Capital ($0/$3300)
Democracy Matters – Discretionary ($55/$55)
Poder Latino – Social Consciousness ($500/$500)
Fem Alliance – Social Consciousness ($485/$485)
Woodshed – Capital ($350/$350)
Minutes from 9/29/13
Archery – 3rd Semester
Beauty and the Beats – 1st Semester
Body Positive – 1st Semester
Choir Council – 1st Semester
Comedy Normative – 3rd Semester
Committed – 1st Semester
Environmental Brigade – 1st Semester
Generation – 1st Semester
Giving to Extremes – 1st Semester
LiNK – 1st Semester
Native American Students Alliance (NASA) – 1st Semester
Quest Scholars Chapter of Vassar College – 1st Semester
Southeast Asian Students Alliance (SEASA) – 4th Semester
Joint Understanding Military Pathways and Support (JUMPS) – 1st Semester
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – 1st Semester
Trivia Group – 1st Semester
Vass Shakers – 3rd Semester
VCTV – 3rd Semester
Vassar Croquet Association – 1st Semester
Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) – 1st Semester


7:11// Forum with Chris Roellke, Dean of the College…AT LARGE
ROELLKE: I’ve been a Dean for 6 years now. We are still looking for a Dean of Studies, which we hope to fill by the end of the year; the position lasts for 5 years. Eve Dunbar is going to serve in my stead next semester.
The Board of Trustees meet 3 times a year (October, February, and May). They have a fiduciary focus. The board has 6 new members this year. There are either 32 to 34 members. The vast majority of the board are alums.
I work with the Student Affairs Committee.
These are the questions I am posing to the Board:
1. How can the Dean of the College best serve a changing student demographic?
2. How can we increase the resources devoted to life after Vassar?
3. How can Vassar best prepare for more Posse groups?
5. Progress on construction on dorms given the financial constraints?
6. What are the best investments we can make on student space.
I serve on the Crisis Response Group. I work
I meet with the Dean of Studies, Dean of Freshman, Associate Dean of Residential Life for Campus Activities, Associate Dean of Residential Life for Campus Life and Diversity on a weekly basis.
Topics for the Committee on College Life:
1. Review the Bias-Incident Report group
2. Discussing first year preparation activities.
3. Think about the re-orientation process in January (for freshman)
4. Review House Fellow policies
5. Review activities during Reading Period
A revised mission statement for the Committee will be available online next week

2015 REP: Among the students there are concerns about changing the Reading Period review. What kind of student input would you be gathering before making the decision?
ROELLKE: There are actually more students on the committee than faculty. There are 7 students who sit on the committee. I envision lots of student input.

FINANCE: How have students been involved in the Posse Program?
ROELLKE: They have not been very involved in the program. Within 2 weeks of President Hill contacting the Posse Program,
One of the things we are trying to negotiate is not having the Posse veterans on stage all the time and giving them some privacy. Ben Lotto is their advisor and meets with them on a weekly basis.

ACADEMICS: What are the priorities in looking for a Dean of Studies?
ROELLKE: We are looking for someone who can wear many hats, and are good cooperators. The person works with office like Junior Year Abroad, the Fellowship Office, and Office of Accessibility. They should be able to lead professors and be a friendly face to students. I am not on the search committee.

NOYES: Can you talk more about re-orientation?
ROELLKE: This is a very fledgling program that the Office of Residential Life. This would not happen this year; the discussion are happening this year.

AT LARGE: How could you talk about the alcohol-event relationship?
ROELLKE: It has been a little bit more quiet than it has been in the past falls. There have been fewer calls for medical services. However this is still a main concern. We had an alcohol task force a few years ago and there were events talking about binge drinking and pre-gaming. I am pleased that we have a good samaritan policy. I would like to compliment the Vassar EMS. We hope that students make decisions good decisions, but we have to continue programming for when they don’t. I have to say that drinking is against the law if you are under 21, and in Dutchess County has a fairly harsh policy about serving underage individuals.

2016 REP: Where would we go to talk about making alterations on the College Handbook?
ROELLKE: The Committee on College Life. I would be a good person to contact about that.

2016 REP: Can you speak to the transfer or mid-year transfer policies?
ROELLKE: They are assigned a student fellow and a transfer fellow. There aren’t many students and because of this they haven’t risen on the list of priorities. But we need to do more for them.

2015 REP: There are very individuals who are feeling under-represented on the campus, where do you go if you want to change policies about their representation?
ROELLKE: An example would be a student-trustee idea. But for all ideas, there is a committee FPPC that deal with this, and Burt Lot is the chair.

AT LARGE: How do we hold students accountable for racial profiling? Who would we go to for’
ROELLKE: You can file a complaint about issues like reporting students to security based on race, under the rules on discrimination. Dean of Students office will receive complaints. It is very difficult to hold students accountable but we must try.

OPERATIONS: Some CCL representatives have problems with representing their constituency. What can be done to help them?
ROELLKE: The CCL meetings are not confidential and they should be allowed to have access to listservs.

7:41 // Executive Board Reports
Congratulations to the new pre-organizations.
Meet Me In Poughkeepsie was successfully held yesterday.
We are working on finding storage space for more student organizations. The decisions will be made in the next few weeks.

AT LARGE: How long would preliminary organization be preliminary?
ACTIVITIES: For 3 semesters, with applications being submitted each semester. After that period the organization would be able to apply for full organization status.

Two new additions to the Finance Committee: Raph and Carolina.
We are looking on expanding the Capital Loan System.
We are looking into more VCash machines.
We are going to be reviewing the Proxy system within our meetings and also our structure at large.

AT LARGE: Can you speak to denying preliminary organization applications?
ACTIVITIES: We look at the benefit to the campus, we try to ensure that no certified organization already fulfills the mission of the preliminary organization, and we consider the student interest in the activity.

7:51 // Davison House President Appointment…OPERATIONS
OPERATIONS: We had two fantastic applications for the President and both were on House Team. We recommend that Khasi take over as the president.
We think that he had great and concrete ideas, he had lead meetings and had experience serving as a leader, the House Team were very pleased with his service thus far.
Move to appoint Khasi as Davison House President

TERRACE APARTMENTS: How will we fill the other positions?
OPERATIONS: We will have applications until noon of the Sunday we run from October break. The positions will be filled the following weekend.

2016 REP: This shows that we really need to consider how we fill these positions. But also thank you to Ali for her hard work.

Abstentions: 2016, Davison, Noyes, Main
Opposed: None


7:55 // Filling Open Positions…OPERATIONS
OPERATIONS: We had 3 interested candidates for the 2014 Judicial Board Representative. We recommend Natalia Preciato for this position. She has been trained to serve on panels about interpersonal violence.
Motion to appoint Natalia Preciato as 2014 Judicial Board Representative
Abstentions: Jewett Proxy
Opposed: None


7:59 // Declaration of Open Positions…Operations
Open positions: Jewett Vice President, Davison Vice President, Jewett Secretary.
Applications will close Sunday October 20 at noon.
Motion to fill these positions by appointmentTHIS MOTION PASSES

8:03 // Amendment Regarding Naming of Preliminary Organizations…Operations

Vassar Student Association Amendment 28 – __
An Amendment Concerning the Use of “Vassar” In Preliminary Organization’s Names
Principal Authors: South Commons, Ben Morse ‘14

SECTION 1: Article VIII, Section 4, Subsection A of the Bylaws shall be revised to read:

A. A Preliminary Organization can:

4. Use “Vassar” in its official name

SECTION 2: Article VIII, Section 4, Subsection B, Clause 1 of the Bylaws shall be struck:

B. A Preliminary Organization cannot:
1. Use “Vassar” in its official name.

ENACTMENT: As is prescribed in Article XI of the VSA Constitution, this amendment shall be enacted by a two-thirds vote of the VSA Council. All clause numbers shall be changed accordingly.

This is the first reading, meaning it will be voted on next council meeting.

8:06 // Open Discussion…

2014 REP: Halloween is coming up and I am working on that.

2016 REP: Welcome to Nnenia, the 2017 Class Representative.

SOUTH COMMONS: I have received requests that the VSA Council Agenda be made available to students before the meetings.
OPERATIONS: I will try to do this soon.

OPERATIONS: Operations Committee did a great job with the interviewing candidates.

ACADEMICS: Make sure students on the Academics Committee read the questions I sent.

CUSHING: Will there be food in Decee after Dark?

ACTIVITIES: Currently, no. But many discussions are being had about food.

2016 REP: My class council has been reconsidering our structure. We want to make sure that people who have traditionally been under-represented have a voice on our council. Representatives from LGBTQ, VISA, ALANA, RSL, Women’s Center have been invited to come work with our council.

Fund levels (approximation):
Discretionary: $30,000
Capital: $40,000
Social Consciousness: $7,500
Collaboration: $11,000
Conference: $13,500
New Organizations: $2,300
Community: $9,500
Speakers: $40,000

OPERATIONS: If you are interested in making formal language to this new council policy, Operations Committee would be willing to look into this.
Also, motion to adjourn.

Abstentions: None.
Opposed: FINANCE, STRONG, 2015 REP.


BYE guys! write you in a couple of weeks!